Sooner Flight Academy Secures Aviation Education Grant

Twenty-eight organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $296,697 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The record amount of funds will be used to expose more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.  The funding was approved by the Commission at their most recent meeting.

The Commission approved an education grant for the OU Sooner Flight Academy Education Programs. The Aviation Science in the Classroom program will be held throughout the 2018-2019 school year and the OU Sooner Flight Academy program will be held during the summer of 2019. The primary goal of the OU Sooner Flight Academy (SFA) is to provide opportunities for learners of all ages to develop a love for aviation, to learn about the science and math of flight through hand-on experiences, and to set the stage for life-long contributions to Oklahoma aviation and other STEM career fields. Approximately 3,150 students in grades K-12 will participate. The requested amount was $49,900.00 and the Commission approved $46,500.00.

The program, which has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years, is part of the OAC mission to encourage and promote aviation throughout the state of Oklahoma. Director of Aeronautics Vic Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually.  “Last year, after a two-year study, we learned that the Aviation and Aerospace sector in Oklahoma supports $43.7 billion in annual statewide economic activity. A competent workforce, which includes our desperate need for aerospace engineers, will be needed to sustain this industry,” said Bird.

The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies.  OAC has provided nearly $1.9 million in education funding within the last 10 years alone.

“OAC is proud to assist Sooner Flight Academy as part of our aviation education grant program, and we look forward to seeing the progress they achieve with their students,” said Catherine Taber, aviation program manager and aviation education coordinator for the Commission.